In this chapter we will look specifically at the epistles. These are, as previously mentioned, the letters written from the Father and the Son by means of the Comforter to the believer and Body of Christ. We will not find much reference in the epistles to Christ in the role of Messiah. That isn’t the proper character of the epistles in any respect, nor as to the counsels of God being carried out presently. What we do find however, are large portions of Scripture that point directly and conclusively to the work of the Last Adam, Jesus Christ, the second Man. It is redemptive work in view, and the epistles bring forth, by the Spirit, a deeper understanding of these truths.
All Mankind comes short of the Glory of God
In the book of Romans we have the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God unto salvation by faith (Rom. 1:16-17). The epistle presents to the believer a summary of the great foundational truths that form the groundwork of this gospel. We see the heathen without the law and they are guilty (Rom. 1:18, 2:5). Then we see the Jew with the law and they are guilty as well (2:23, 3:20). The former are found lawless, while the latter are transgressors of the law (Rom. 2:12). The conclusion is in Rom. 3:23; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. All mankind, without exception, have come short of a position and proper relationship with the living God. It matters not if one is a Gentile heathen, far away from God, without His law and promises, or if one is of the stock of Israel, with the law, promises, and the oracles of God. All are guilty and cannot possibly enter and live in the presence of God (the glory of God). All are found to be sinners, without means or solution.
All mankind, from the fall of Adam in paradise, come short of the glory of God. Do we have a sense of the full meaning of this truth? As believers, we tend to agree with the first part of Rom. 3:23, that ‘all have sinned.’ We have an understanding of this; that all men are guilty of committing the acts of sin. What about our understanding of the effects of mankind’s relationship with the first man? Do we, as believers, grasp the fullness of the consequences and results of Adam’s original disobedience?
We usually find that most unbelievers like to dispute with the first part – the personal sinning that goes on. They refuse to properly see and admit it. The unbeliever may agree that some committing of sins takes place, but usually fails to see or admit responsibility for their actions personally. They then foolishly push any thought from their conscience of standing before God someday and giving account. If they entertain the thought of a judgment for themselves, they have reasoned that it will hopefully go in their favor. They reason that God will look the other way as to their sins, failing to see and understand that God is righteous and holy without measure. When they compare themselves to others, they reason they are better than most, and find solace in this fatal perception. It’s as if God has scales of judgment in the skies, and their good outweighs their bad in the balance. What is vitally necessary for the unbeliever is for his conscience to be awakened and quickened, not just to sins, but to a lost condition without strength or resource to change. This lost state is man born in Adam.
Man’s Inherited Position and State in Adam, the first man
Believers need to better understand this inherited position in Adam. All mankind has received the presence of sin from the first man (Rom. 5:12). It isn’t just that sins will not be in the presence of God, but sin in the flesh will not be tolerated as well. The Adam nature is fallen, sin is reigning in this nature (Rom. 5:14, 17, 21), in the flesh, and man’s will is a slave to sin (John 8:34). As believers, we do understand and agree with the first part above – the acts of sin being committed on a universal basis. However, not only are all men guilty of sins, but all mankind inherits from Adam, the head of the human race, a nature of sin. We have this from natural birth and it is present in the flesh.
From Adam onward, there has always been a coming short by all mankind of the glory of God. What I want you to realize and understand, that God’s presence and glory is, in a great sense, the intended destination for man. And further, it is God’s intention and purpose that man can continuously come into His glory and live in His presence. But in man’s present state and position (scripturally as in the flesh, of the world, and in Adam), he always falls short of the intended destination. What is implied is that man in his present state, left to his own efforts and means, has a guaranteed outcome; a falling short – certain condemnation (Rom. 3:9, 19). However, of great importance, is the intention and purpose of God in His counsels – man living in the presence of God, in the glory of God. And centerpiece to His counsels is Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. The foundation of all God’s counsels is the obedience and work of this one Man.
Both Jew and Gentile guilty and Hopelessly Lost
It is an important truth to realize that both heathen (Gentile) and Jew are in the exact same position before God – hopelessly lost, guilty sinners, and without strength to do anything about it (Rom. 5:6, 8). All are lost, despite all the incredible advantages that Israel was given by God. They never profited by it, did not produce fruit as we have seen previously, and failed to recognize God when He came to them.
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
Israel – God’s Privileged People – is in the Flesh and of the World
Here is the spiritual understanding of importance: Israel, although given all the advantages, was always, in their existence as a people, every bit part of the world as any Gentile nation. Their choosing and separation by God was in the flesh and in the world. Israel certainly was separated from the Gentiles around them, but simply by a wall built up by God – their religion being this wall (the law – Judaism). Their separation was all in the flesh and simply amounted to nothing more than the confidences of man in the flesh (Phil. 3:2-8). Israel was a people in the flesh.
What do the Scriptures say about the flesh? Those that are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:8). In the flesh dwells no good thing (Rom. 7:18).
“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
True believers are in the Spirit, having the seal of the Spirit in them. All unbelievers are in the flesh, according to God’s Word. All unbelievers also are part and parcel of the world, and make up what is known in the Scriptures as ‘the world.’ In Rom. 3:19 it said that the entire world may become guilty (under judgment) before God; and it is speaking there of Jews and Gentiles. The world is made up, as to its composition, of Jews and Gentiles; believers are not part of the world (John 17:14, 16).
The Law – a Ministration of Death and Condemnation
One more scriptural application as to Israel will be helpful to many. Israel, as a people in the flesh, according to Rom. 8:7-8, possess a fleshly mind that is enmity against God and one that cannot be subject to the law of God – the very law God gave them. Nor indeed can they be at all subject to it. The law of God through Moses was given to a people in the flesh, a people very much a part of the world. This was the determined counsel and intention of God. He had His reasons, none of which led to life and righteousness in Israel (Gal. 3:21, Rom. 10:1-4). That which was written and engraved on stones, by the testimony of the Spirit in II Cor. 3:7, 9, according to God’s purpose, was distinctly a ministration of death and condemnation.
The Law exposes the Presence of Sin in the Flesh
I believe that those, taught by the Spirit in the scriptures, will understand the intentions of God in this. The law exposes sin. I do not say sins, although certainly the law identifies what transgressions and offences are, as breaking commandments given from God to Israel (Rom. 7:5). The law, in a general overall sense, exposes the presence of sin in man, as inherited from Adam (Rom. 7:7-9, 11-14, 17). Mankind does not inherit sins from Adam, but rather, the presence of sin in the flesh (Rom. 7:17, 20, and 23). It is this presence that has its fruits; sins and death (death, I dare say, cannot be separated from condemnation).
As far as sins are concerned, this is the simple transition to understand: before Israel was given the law, they were lawless, and exactly like the Gentiles committing sins. After they were given the law at Mt. Sinai, they were now transgressors of the law committing offences. The truth resides in this; when Israel was given the law, they were already sinners. And the law was powerless to do anything to correct or remedy the existing state of Israel, or that of all mankind in Adam (Rom. 8:3). Besides, what is the clear testimony of New Testament scriptures on the topic of the law? I quote one of many possible scriptures (I Cor. 15:56), “…the strength of sin is the law.”
Israel is in the First Adam
Now the above few scriptures draw these simple conclusions: Israel, as a people, as well as all Gentile unbelievers, by nature are in the flesh (Rom. 8:9), of the world (Rom. 3:19), and under condemnation (John 12:31, Eph. 2:3). Israel’s separation from the Gentiles by God, a wall built up around them by their law, is very much still a part of the world. Israel, from a scriptural perspective, can be described as still in Adam. All unbelievers for that matter would hold this same state and position before God as being in Adam. The unbelieving world certainly would not be considered to be ‘in Christ’, the second Adam. The position of all individuals can be described as either in Adam or in the second Adam. The first Adam is the position of being in the flesh. In the Last Adam is the position of being in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9).
The First Adam is a Type of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man
In your studies of God’s Word you will find that Rom. 3:21-26 as well as Romans 5, 6, 7, 8, are all speaking of the redemptive work of the second Adam, the Son of Man. The contrasts between the first and second Adams begin in Rom. 5:12-15,
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.”
My intention for this chapter cannot be the explaining of all the scriptures in the epistles related to the Son of Man, which would be quite extensive. Rather it is showing to the reader that a distinctive relationship clearly exists between the written epistles and Jesus Christ in the title and character of the Son of Man. Here we see that the first Adam is a type of Him, the second Man, who was to come (Rom. 5:14 – Adam is considered a type of the second Adam before man’s fall, as he existed in paradise). Also, all the grace of God that abounds to the many is by and through the one Man. The righteousness of God and the believer’s justification through the grace of God is secured by this one Man. And Rom. 5:12-21 unfolds the contrasts between the two Adams;
The first Adam, the first man The second Adam, the Son of Man
|Disobedience (Rom. 5:19)||Obedience (Rom. 5:19)|
|Sin entered the world, death through sin (Rom. 5:12-14) through one man||The free gift, the grace of God (Rom. 5:15) the grace of the one Man|
|Judgment and associated condemnation (Rom. 5:16, 18)||Justification and the gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:16-18)|
|Death reigning (Rom. 5:14, 17)||Reigning in life (God’s life – Rom. 5:17)|
|One man’s offence (his sin — Rom. 5:18)||One Man’s righteous act (the cross-Rom. 5:18)|
|Sin reigning as a master in death, the great fruit of sin (Rom. 5:21)||Grace reigning through righteousness unto eternal life (Rom. 5:21)|
The explanations of the redemptive work of the Son of Man continue through Romans 6, 7, 8, as well as redemptive realities for those in faith. In chapter 6 it is deliverance from the bondage of sin, and chapter 7 it is deliverance from the law. Chapter 8 is the seal of the Spirit and the Spirit of adoption as sons, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Also we have the expectation of our hope, and the revelation of the definite counsel of God, in the believer being conformed to the image of His Son.
The Son of Man is the First Born from the Dead
I Cor. 15 is a chapter which specifically references the Son of Man. His gospel is found in the first fifteen verses. Farther on the chapter speaks of the resurrection of the believer connected directly with Christ, the second Man, who is raised from the dead. Then there is the millennial kingdom of the Son of Man, His reign over all creation (which was given up by the first Adam), the putting all things under His feet. After that He gives up His kingdom as Man so that the rule of man ends. From this point God is all in all, in all the divine glory, in the new heavens and new earth for all eternity. Once again, we see clearly the similarities and contrasts between the first Adam in type, and the last Adam, the Son of Man.
1 Cor. 15:45-49
“And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.”
Earlier in the chapter Christ becomes the first fruits (vs. 20, 23) because He is now risen from the dead. This is the Son of Man who went down under death and is risen and glorified. We see a group is associated with the risen Son of Man – afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. This is certainly speaking of the believer, but more so, the entire Body of Christ. If Christ was glorified by being raised, as Paul’s argument goes, in the same way will the Body of Christ be glorified. This glorification, and the entering into the glory of God, will be by resurrection or change of the believer, as clearly described in verses 50-58. We will all be changed (v. 51); the corruptible through resurrection, or the mortal putting on immortality.
There is now a Man in Glory, and He has many Brethren
In Hebrews 2, Christ, as the Son of Man, was for a time made a little lower than the angels for the purpose of suffering of death. In this chapter we see the Son of Man glorified, crowned with glory and honor (v. 9). He is identified by the Spirit as the glorified Man of Psalm 8 (Heb. 2:6-9), which is the primary Old Testament reference to the title of the Son of Man. Again a group is found in Him, the bringing of many sons to glory. This is the entering into the glory of God that all mankind in Adam were guaranteed of falling short of – Heb. 2:10-11.
“For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying:
“I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
As the glorified Man, Christ has brought us into the same position with His God and His Father that He has. He who sanctifies and those sanctified are one and the same. This is the declared reason He, as the glorified Man, is not ashamed to call them brethren. Then He says, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” What name? The name of His Father and His God, the One with whom He had found favor, now having put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Christ had felt God’s power and wrath against sin. He returns into the enjoyment of the glory, not simply as the eternal Son of God before the world was, but now as the glorified Son of Man. He enters as having finished the work, and now He says, “I will declare thy name unto My brethren.” We easily see that when He rose, He said, “Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God and your God.” (John 20:17). He is declaring the Father’s name to His brethren. He had never really called them this previously – brethren. He is setting them in the place He had acquired for them. He had completed the needed work, as the Son of Man, and now He brings His disciples into the same relationship He Himself was in with His God. This is in virtue of what He had done as Man; and as we also know, He did not do this for Himself, but for us.
The Son of Man is the Seed of the Woman
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
The Son of Man partook of flesh and blood for the reason of death, that He might destroy the power of the devil. The full victory over Satan has been won by Christ. First it was in the wilderness being tempted and then on the cross submitting to death. Satan thought his victory was Christ in the tomb, but on the first day of the week the tomb was empty. Death could not hold Him. As Jesus said, “the prince of this world is judged.” (John 12:31). Satan has been totally defeated by the cross of Christ, for death can no longer touch the glorified Son of Man.
He is still around, still doing his work, but he is a defeated devil now. The victory over him has been won by Christ. Satan is just not bound yet. Please note here that this was the fulfillment, in great part, of the promise of the Seed of the woman in the judgment of the serpent in the garden. The Son of Man is the Seed of the woman who would crush the power of the serpent.
In Hebrews 10 we have the viewpoint of the Son of Man as coming from heaven into the world, and a body prepared for Him. He comes, not to do His will, but the will of another, even God. This is so characteristic of the Son of Man. “Your will” is identified specifically in verse 10 as the sacrifice of the cross. Then it says:
“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…”
After the Son of Man glorified the Father, then the Father glorified the Son of Man. In this verse we have Christ glorified, sitting down at the right hand of His Father’s and His God’s throne. He is there as a Man, in the glory, representing certain other men. How important is this?
Is there now access to the glory and presence of God where there was only a falling short before? That access is not in the first Adam, not granted to those in him. Those that are there are in the flesh and of the world and earth (the first man was of the earth – I Cor. 15:47). We need the One who has gone up through the heavens, up into the glory, and is seated at the right hand of glory as a forerunner for us. Our access into the glory has been accomplished and is provided for us by this One, the glorified Man (Heb. 10:19-20). Consider these scriptures in the light of this truth:
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
The Son of Man glorified is the forerunner who has entered into the Presence, into the glory of God. He is a Man in the Presence, in the glory. This will be the accomplishment of a certain portion of the determined counsels and intentions of God. It is a hope believers have, sure and steadfast. (More teaching on these truths as related to the believer will be discussed in the chapter, ‘Many Sons in Glory’).
The Son of Man is the One Seed of Abraham
When we turn to Galatians 3 we have the understanding of the Son of Man as the one Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16). As we discussed earlier in the Types and Shadows chapter, the covenant of promise was confirmed in Isaac after he was offered up by Abraham. Abraham received him back from the dead as resurrected, only this in type (Heb. 11:17-19). Jesus Christ, as raised from the dead, is the fulfillment of this type. The Son of Man resurrected and glorified is the true Seed of Abraham in whom the covenant of promise was confirmed.
This serves to identify Christ, the One Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16), as the glorified Son of Man. This accomplishes the specific focus of this chapter, in view of the book of Galatians, which is to show the continuance of the title and role of the Son of Man through the epistles. This does little to address other important subjects entertained by Paul in this epistle which I have difficulty passing by without comment. I will list here what I feel are important thoughts and distinctions that the Spirit of God clearly brings to the forefront in this epistle, and certainly worth the believer’s time spent in consideration and study.
The Two Covenants (Gal. 3, 4)
1.) There are two covenants discussed in Galatians 3, 4 that are not the same or even similar, except they are both from God. These chapters contrast and distinguish the two covenants from each other, and in truth, show their incompatibility with each other (Gal. 3:15-18, 4:28-31).
2.) The principle and basis of the covenant of promise is diametrically opposite that of the covenant of law. For the law it is, “the man who does them shall live by them.” This places the potential for any blessing from God squarely on the responsibility of man – his decisions, his will, and his works (Gal. 3:12). The principle of the covenant of promise is the character and attributes of God Himself, and that God is faithful to do what He has promised. The individual simply believes what God has spoken (Gal. 3:9).
3.) The covenant of law was given to the nation of Israel. It became the religion of Israel. The two parties involved were God on one side, and angels mediating for Him, and the people of Israel on the other, with Moses mediating for them (Gal. 3:19). The covenant of promise was nothing like this. There is no mention of any mediator, and frankly, that is because there isn’t one. Why? There is only one party involved in this covenant. This is the reason why Paul says, “Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.” In this covenant God stands alone and shoulders every ounce of responsibility (Gal. 3:20). The covenant of promise will never be given to a nation. It is individuals becoming sons of God (Gal. 3:26). ‘In Christ’ there are no nations (Gal. 3:28).
4.) The covenant of law with Israel is a yoke of bondage (Gal. 5:1-3) that only produces a nation of servants and slaves (Gal. 4:21-25, John 8:31-36). The covenant of promise produces sons of God (Gal. 3:26, 4:5-7), heirs of God (Gal. 3:29, 4:7) and the inheritance He gives (Gal. 3:18, 4:7).
5.) (Gal. 3:12) “Yet the law is not of faith…” This statement should be a red flag going up for any believer. When could there ever be any fulfillment of promise or blessing from God without believing Him? The covenant of promise is by believing God and believing in Jesus Christ, the one Seed of Abraham in whom the covenant was confirmed (Gal. 3:9). The law is not of faith, but rather, is of human responsibility.
6.) By the covenant of law the nation of Israel existed as always under a curse (Gal. 3:10), for as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse. This describes the Jewish people and their religion, and the only expected result and outcome. The curse is nothing special – it simply is death, condemnation, and wrath from God in judgment. There never was a law that could give life or righteousness (Gal. 3:21). This is another red flag. The covenant of promise gives the seal and indwelling Spirit of promise through faith (Gal. 3:2, 5, 14), who is the Spirit of the adoption of sonship (Gal. 4:5-7).
7.) Throughout Galatians 3, 4 the two covenants are compared and contrasted. Here are some of the descriptions and words used.
a.) Works of the law vs. hearing of faith (Gal. 3:2).
b.) Beginning in the Spirit vs. perfection through the flesh (Gal. 3:3).
c.) The sons of Abraham are those of faith, not those of the works of the law (Gal. 3:6-10).
d.) The curse of the law vs. the promise of the Spirit (Gal. 3:13-14), and the promise of an inheritance (Gal. 3:18).
e.) The many seeds after the flesh vs. the one Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16-17).
f.) The covenant of promise vs. the covenant of law given 430 years later (Gal. 3:17), which had no power to annul or add anything (Gal. 3:15, 17).
g.) Law gives a curse (Gal. 3:10) – death and condemnation. Promise gives life and righteousness (Gal. 3:21).
h.) Children of bondage (Gal. 4:24-25) vs. children of promise (Gal. 4:28).
i.) Children born according to the flesh (Gal. 4:29) vs. children born according to the Spirit (Gal. 4:29).
j.) Earthly Jerusalem which is itself in bondage (Gal. 4:25) vs. the heavenly Jerusalem that is free (Gal. 4:26), which is the house of the Father (John 14:2, Rev. 3:12), the eternal habitation of all the sons of God.
The covenant of promise involves the blessing of the Gentiles by faith, and the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God through Jesus Christ, the one Seed (Gal. 3:7-9, Rom. 5:15). This covenant of promise was activated after the Seed was raised from the dead (Gal. 3:16-19), and when the covenant of law was set aside for Israel (Gal. 3:23-25).
Promises from God are fulfilled by God in sovereign grace and power; all promises associated with the covenant of promise are solely dependent on the faithfulness of God (Heb. 6:13-18). The covenant of promise has absolutely nothing to do with the responsibility of man. That is why all the promises of God are in Christ as yes and Amen (II Cor. 1:20), because their fulfillment only depends on the sovereign will and power of God. God made promises to Abraham concerning his physical descendants, but those are separate and distinct from this covenant of promise confirmed in Christ, His one Seed. The distinction is clearly seen in Gal. 3:16; “And to seeds,” as of many, is speaking of Israel, his descendants after the flesh, and ‘as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ, is the other. This one Seed again has a group associated with Him, seen in Gal. 3:7, 9, 26, and 29;
7 “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.”
9 “So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.”
26 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
29 “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Clearly these are believers as the sons of God in Christ Jesus. In Gal. 4:1-7 we have almost the exact teaching concerning the believer as we found in Rom. 8. We are sons of God through redemption in Christ, receiving the adoption of sons, being made heirs of God, and the seal of the Spirit whereby we cry out, “Abba, Father!”
The Son of Man – Head of the Body, and Head of all Creation
If we move on to Colossians, there we learn that the redemptive work of the Son of Man had two great objects of reconciliation; the whole of creation and the Body of Christ.
“…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
19 “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—“
As for creation, Christ in His divinity (the image of the invisible God, v. 15, and all the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in Him, v. 19) created all things in heaven and earth, all things visible, as well as all things invisible. They were created by Him and also for Him. He preceded everything, and the continued existence of everything is by His ongoing wisdom and power (v. 15-17). By Christ’s shed blood, all things are reconciled back to the Father; things on earth and things in heaven (v. 20). The reconciliation of creation was accomplished by the cross. What He created as God He will take as the risen Son of Man.
This is an important thought. In His divinity, He was the Creator of all things, and has the right to possess all of creation. As the Son of God, He is the appointed heir of all things (Heb. 1:2). But He only takes the inheritance through redemption, and this as Man. The work of the Son of Man in redemption, and His entrance as Man into glory, is key to understanding how there are other men redeemed, and glorified, of which He is not ashamed to call them brethren (Heb. 2:11).
Redemption through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man is provided for the believer (v. 14). And we have been reconciled by Him to the Father (II Cor. 5:17-21), by the work of the cross (v. 21-22). Eventually, we will be presented holy, blameless, and irreproachable to the Father (v. 22). How is this? We are in Christ and He is our life. So now we see that when He takes His inheritance – that which He created as God and has a right to – there will be other men found with Him, as brethren and co-heirs.
The glorified Man has gained preeminence in all things (v. 18). He is the firstborn over all creation (v. 15). Therefore Jesus, the second Adam, is such a greater reality than the first Adam ever was in type/figure. The first Adam is responsible for the defilement of creation, the very creation he was to have dominion over. The second Adam is responsible for the reconciliation of that creation and more, the entire heavens and earth, of simply all things. But the Son of Man is the firstborn from the dead, and is preeminent there as well (v. 18). The glorified Man is both, the Head of creation, and the Head of the body, the church. (This accomplished reconciliation of creation and of the church through the redemptive work of the Son of Man is beautifully brought to light in detail in Rev. 4 and 5.) In Colossians 3 we see more truths associated with Christ in the role of the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God (Luke 22:69).
The Son of Man Presently Hidden at the Right Hand of God
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
This passage turns the attention of the believer to where it properly should be — to the heavens. Also it is evident from the passage that Christ is presently hidden there in God. He will stay hidden from the world as long as the work of the Spirit sent down to gather His body is still incomplete, until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in (Rom. 11:25). He is hidden as opposed to the thought of appearing to the world (v. 4), which would be the Son of Man coming in judgment (Rev. 1:7, Dan 7:13, and Matt. 24:30). Regardless, He sits there hidden, in the role of the Son of Man having gone away. When He appears to the world, it will be the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, for judgment and a kingdom.
The last epistle we will look at in this chapter concerning the Son of Man will be Ephesians. In this epistle Christ is presented as the Son of Man glorified throughout. In Eph. 1:19-21, we see the Man, Jesus Christ, raised-up from among the dead by the mighty power of the Father and seated at God’s right hand. This is exaltation far above all power and all things. And further we see in Eph. 4:9-10 the reconciliation of the heavens and earth, again of all created things to God through His work. He has preeminence over all things as Head, whether it be creation or the body (Eph. 1:22). This is how the believer is to see Christ, as exalted and glorified. The world does not see Him now, but the time is coming when they will, when He is manifested to the world (Col. 3:4). So now, as for the world, the Man glorified is hidden in God (Col. 3:3, Rev. 12:5). Yet He is not hidden to the believer, to the eye of faith, and we are always taught to be looking there (Col. 3:1-2).
The Son of Man with His Body is exalted above All Things
Ephesians 1 shows the Father’s love for individual believers by making us accepted in Christ, in the Beloved (v. 6), again in the position as adopted sons (v. 5) and according to the wisdom of His counsels and purposes (v. 5, 8-9, 11). Believers have been given the Holy Spirit, a guarantee of future things (v. 13-14). But we also know that the Spirit could not have been given until the Son of Man of Psalm 8 had been glorified (this psalm is partially quoted in v. 22). In the second chapter the Spirit, as sent down, is gathering and forming the corporate body of this mystical Man. It is interesting that Christ, as the Head of the body, is so as the glorified Man. This thought is maintained in Eph. 2:19-21, when it says that Jesus Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone, as a stone in the building itself, in which we are stones being built up together as a holy temple in the Lord.
In Ephesians 3 we have the mystery of Christ that was, from the beginning of the ages, hidden in God (Eph. 3:1-12). This mystery is now revealed for it could not be revealed until Christ was glorified (v. 5, 10-11). The mystery revealed is as a dispensation given specifically to Paul (v.2, 8-9). We will have more to say on this important revelation in a later chapter. In Ephesians 4, when Christ is glorified on high, He gives gifts for the growth of the body on earth.
Adam and Eve – a Type of Christ and the Church
We end our survey of the epistles as related to the Son of Man in Ephesians 5. Here a hidden type (as hidden somewhat in the chapter) is used to describe the association of the glorified Man of Psalm 8 with His body, the church. In Eph. 5:25-32 we start with the exhortation, “Husbands, love your wives…”, but the teaching immediately turns to Christ and the church that He loves and has given Himself for. The type/figure is Adam and Eve in paradise, prefiguring Christ in glory and the church as joined to Him, as His body – of His flesh and of His bones (v. 29-30). We can see that Adam and Eve are in the thoughts of the Spirit because Gen. 2:24 is quoted in verse 31. But it is spelled out in verse 32 that Paul is actually talking about Christ and the church.
We know Adam is a type of Christ (Rom. 5:14) before his fall into sin. Eve was made out of Adam, when he was put to sleep, and then afterward she was presented to Adam by God. Adam said then, “This is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Eph. 5:30). Adam was to rule over all the works of God’s hands. Eve was not a part of the original creation, and she was not lord of it as Adam. But Eve was associated with Adam in all his dominion. Eve was not to be ruled over by Adam, but to be a help-meet and co-heir in the portion that God had given him. The Son of Man, the second Adam, goes down under death (sleep is a figure, see Eph. 5:14, John 11:11-14), and when He wakes up in glory, so to speak, He will present to Himself (for He is God, Eph. 5:27) His bride the church, without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish. His bride is the glorified Man’s body joined to Him (Eph. 5:30-32), of which He is the Head (Eph. 1:22-23). And so we will find the church to be joined with Christ, the Son of Man, when He takes His rightful inheritance. (Ephesians 5:32 – This is a great mystery …concerning Christ and the Church.)